“I’m here for confession, Father.”
It echoes in the still hall. Someone sitting in the cathedral shoots me an annoyed glance and I give her a nice, toothy grin. The priest leads me down a dimly lit hallway to his office. I wait behind him as he fumbles with a million keys under the flickering light. I wonder if I am back home and this is all a dream.
The door finally opens. I pray for darkness when the lights turn on. I pictured my first confession in a dark booth with scented candles and a choir singing a Gregorian chant in the background. But I am in a human resources office with an on-the-clock priest. He points to the chair in the far right and takes a seat behind an oriental divider. It looks out of place, like it was taken from an Asian fusion restaurant. I thought the purpose of confession was to anonymously share details of one’s wrongdoings, but the gaping holes defy every belief I ever had. I brush it off because he has already seen my face and smelt my revelry from the previous night.
We play a religious game of Connect 4, the priest and I connecting the dots of my sins. He does not break eye contact as we peer at each other through the holes. He silences me within five minutes and points to the statue of Jesus. Jesus hangs over the priest’s head, looking at me despondently as I pretend to pray. The priest makes the symbol of a cross and quietly asks me to leave.
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